Judge rejects Chrysler motion to dismiss diesel emissions cheating claims in California

by Charles Miller

A California federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss thousands of lawsuits filed against Chrysler over allegations of diesel emissions cheating by the company. Chrysler is currently facing claims filed by at least 150,000 Dodge RAM and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel owners over allegations that Chrysler installed an emissions cheat device on these vehicles to hide their high emissions levels from vehicle owners and federal regulators.

According to the lawsuits, Chrysler installed emissions software known as a “defeat device” on its 2014-2016 Dodge RAM 1500 EcoDiesel and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models. This defeat device was designed to lower the performance of the affected models during an inspection in order to reduce the emissions released by the vehicles. Testing has shown that these RAM and Cherokee models can release up to 20-times the EPA’s maximum allowed level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) under normal driving conditions.

Chrysler filed a motion in San Francisco federal court to dismiss the thousands of claims filed over the company’s alleged emissions cheating. However, the federal judge hearing the case denied the automaker’s motion, ruling that the 150,000 claims filed against the company could proceed toward trial.

Chrysler is also facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that the company installed a similar defeat device on 2007-2012 Dodge RAM 2500 and Dodge RAM 3500 diesel models. Tests performed on these vehicles revealed that without the defeat device, these truck models can emit levels of NOx up to 14-times the EPA maximum.

The allegations of emissions cheating against Chrysler came to light in the wake of the 2015 “Dieselgate” emissions scandal involving Volkswagen. In 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle allegations of emissions cheating involving VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel models.

In the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, investigators uncovered evidence of emissions cheating involving manufacturers of other diesel vehicles, as well as some gasoline-powered models. Diesel emissions cheating lawsuits are currently pending against General Motors, as well as the aforementioned allegations against Chrysler. In addition to the lawsuits filed over diesel emissions cheating involving Audi models, the company is also facing lawsuits over allegations of emissions fraud involving its gasoline-powered cars.

Emissions Cheating Claims Filed by HO&P Against Chrysler and Other Automakers

Consumers who purchased or leased one of the Dodge RAM or Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models involved in the allegations against Chrysler may qualify to take legal action. The first step in filing a claim is to speak with a law firm with the experience in emissions cheating litigation to advise you on whether you may qualify to file a claim.

For more information about whether you may qualify to file a claim, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.